Cousin Mrs. Fritsch called on us in the morning and, together with Tante K., we went sight seeing. We landed at the Imperial Art History Museum, which contains the extensive art collections of the Imperial House.
The exterior of this building, as well as that of the Natural History Museum, is lavishly adorned with sculpture. The interior is beautifully decorated in colored marble and stucco. On the middle landing of the staircase in Canoca’s marble group of the “Victory of Theseus Over the Centaur,” originally intended by Napoleon I for Milan.
The first rooms which we passed through contained Sarcophagi and sculptures of the 13th, 19th and 26th Dynasty, also coffins, mummies and sculptures and canopy, mummy coverings fruits, amulets, etc., from ancient Egyptian tombs.
In other rooms are collections of Antiquities of the Greek, Etruscan and Roman periods and collections of coins and medals. The collections of Industrial Art, one of the most important of its kind, embraces the productions of the industrial art of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and has come to the Hapsburg house from the Burgundian secession by the marriage of Maximillian in 1477.
It being such an old collection, you may understand its value and size. It has such a variety of articles that I cannot possibly mention them them all. Articles of ivory, bronze, boxwood, etc., Burgundian Sacredotal Vestments of the 15th century, goldsmiths work and works in rock, crystal, agate, etc. An iron cabinet richly inlaid with gold made in Vienna in 1567. Majolica ware, manuscripts of the middles ages.
The collection of Weapons and Armour is very fine, too, so is one of Paintings. Among them, I noticed one by Alexander Golz, “Christ and the Women” of which we have a picture in the office, also fine pictures by Rembrandt, Rubens, Jan Van Eyck, etc.
There is one large picture of the “Landtag of Warsaw in 1773” by Matejko which is especially fine. But we had to hurry through, and you cannot get but a glimpse of such a magnificent collection in two hours.
We lunched and went shopping. In the evening, I went by lonely self to the Hof Opera House to hear the “Meistersinger of Nurnberg” by Richard Wagner. It lasted from 7 o’clock to 12 o’clock, and I was sorry that you could not be with me to enjoy it.
I forgot to mention to you that we concluded to stay over another day in order that we may witness the procession to-morrow, and I have bought tickets for a stand on Stephansplace where we can see it.